Joan Roddy DMJ
"Sr Joan Roddy DMJ is Director of the Refugee and Migrant Project of the Irish Bishops\' Conference"
Today, for many of us, the mention of return, removal, or deportation, conjures up thoughts of dawn raids on people\'s homes and rushed midnight air flights. Swift enforced departures, with little or no forewarning, are accompanied by hasty packing, frequently under Garda surveillance, with no chance to communicate this unexpected turn-of-events to friends, neighbours, church or school, much less say good-bye. For some parents, it has meant family break-up where they have had to leave behind small children. Those of us who watched that RTE Prime Time programme which showed one such experience cannot but have been moved to see the grief of mothers and the trauma etched on the faces of their children. What-ever the arguments, it is difficult to believe that there is not a better alternative than a procedure which leaves parents on one continent and their young children on another, thousands of miles away.